The news that the BBC would be creating a new iPhone app to beam stories live spread faster than an Internet hoax.
One small problem: that’s not exactly what the venerable news organization plans to do.
“What we’re not doing is creating our own app to do live broadcasting,” says Martin Turner Head of Operations, Newsgathering, BBC News. “There are already excellent apps for that so we want to use them.”
Turner goes on to say that the real use of an iPhone reporting app is to replace clunky and unreliable satellite phones in the field.
He gives the example of standing on a hotel roof in a downpour trying send a radio report from Luanda, Angola with a satphone that refused to make the connection.
Filing the stories from far-flung locales, he says, can be more stressful than being shot at. So enter the smartphone, which is where many news organizations are heading for citizen journalism apps, too.
What are the BBC’s plans, then?
Turner says they will be “porting an existing solution that allows anyone in the BBC to file audio, video and stills directly into our content production systems. We’ve been using this on Symbian phones for some time, so the aim is to take an existing solution and get more value out of it.”